If it is such a hassle to feel well- rested in the morning due to sleep-apnea, it is crucial to get treatment as soon as possible. Whether it is through the use of an oral appliance or CPAP, keeping your airways open is quite essential.
However, a lot people may not know this, but there other factors that can influence your sleep apnea symptoms.
What are they?
The food you eat!
Yes! Whether you believe it or not, the foods you eat could play a major role in inhibiting your breathing airways. Below are some foods that can not only help you breathe better, but also guarantee a good night’s rest.
Whole grains are healthy and rich with nutrients. They can improve sleep apnea symptoms and also help to curb hunger. Other similar amazing options you can add to your plate are wild rice, pearled barley and old-fashioned oats.
Fruits and vegetables
The nutritional benefits of these can never be overemphasized. They are low on calories and contain vital fibers the body needs. if you are the type that needs to satisfy your sweet tooth, they are also a healthy option.
With fruits and veggies, you feel full so it also prevents you from overeating. However, since sleep apnea is often associated with obesity, adding fresh fruits and greens to your diet will rid you of weight gain.
Unsaturated fats gotten from plant-based oils are a healthier option compared to saturated fats like margarine or butter. Making use of oils from safflowers, olives or canola will significantly help you avoid weight gain.
Low-fat dairy products
Dairy products have always been helping when it comes to decreasing sleep apnea episodes. They also prevent hunger and are amazing sources of vitamin D. Low-fat dairy products like yogurt, milk and cheese could also help you maintain a good weight.
You should put these foods into consideration if you’re looking to improve the symptoms of sleep apnea.
As we have foods that are good for sleep apnea, we also have those that could further worsen the condition. If you suffer from sleep apnea, do well to avoid the following foods below-
These foods shouldn’t be anywhere near you because they have the ability to aggravate your throat a, increase your body temperature while asleep and induce heartburn. They are unsafe for sleep apnea patients.
Caffeine has always been known to be a stimulant that can keep people up for longer hours. You can’t have trouble sleeping and love coffee because it worsens it. If at all you have to take coffee, take it six hours before going to bed.
If you are a lover of bananas, you’d have noticed that they increase mucus production. They are not good for you if you have sleep apnea as they can make breathing worse during sleep.
Alcohol has been known as a substance that could aid easy sleep. It actually does. However, it doesn’t help you reach the REM stage of sleep. Moreover, it also relaxes the throat so it may increase the risk of airway blockage.
That extra sugar in refined carbohydrate is one of the reasons why we have obese people. It aids weight gain and may increase the risk of sleep apnea symptoms. Avoid it as much as you can!
SOME LIFESTYLE REMEDIES FOR SLEEP APNEA PATIENTS
Ensure you maintain a healthy weight
Sleep apnea patients are often advised by their doctors to lose weight. Obesity itself could bring a wide variety of health challenges. Specifically, if it occurs mostly in your upper body, it can increase the risk if airway blockage by making your airways narrower or thinner. Obstructions like these could cease breathing while sleeping for lengths of time.
When you maintain a healthy weight, your airways become clear and the symptoms of sleep apnea significantly reduces. Studies show that a modest weight in obese people can eliminate the need for any airway surgeries or CPAP therapy.
Alter sleeping positions
Altering your sleeping position may be all you need to enjoy a lovely night’s rest and also improve the symptoms of sleep apnea.
In 2006, a research showed that a high percentage of obstructive sleep apnea cases are highly dependent on sleeping positions. For most adults, sleeping on their sides helps them breath normally.
A study in 2002 found that children suffering from sleep apnea sleep and breathe better if they lie facing up.
Make use of oral appliances
Oral appliances help your tongue or jaw in a way to keep your airway open while you sleep. These devices have two major categories which are tongue devices and advancement devices.
They work by moving either your tongue or jaw forward to decrease any air blockage at the back of your throat.
If you suffer from sleep apnea, you may want to discuss this with your doctor to ascertain if you can get one of them.
Buy a humidifier
Humidifiers help to give the air some moisture to avoid you breathing in dry air. Dry air has a way of irritating the body and respiratory system. Using a humidifier will give you a reduced congestion, open your airways and help you breathe well.
A great tip to help you enjoy your humidifier even more is by adding peppermint, eucalyptus or lavender oil to it. These oils have been known to soothing and anti-inflammatory benefits.
Engage in physical/ oral exercise
Physical exercises significantly reduce the severity of obstructive sleep apnea by reducing abdominal fat and body weight.
Oral exercises on the other hand can help you breathe a lot better. One common one for patients with sleep apnea is tongue push up. To achieve this, push up your entire tongue to the roof of your mouth, hold for 10 seconds and repeat the exercise 5 times.
Engaging in this daily can help you open your airway and help you breathe better.
There are certain changes in your lifestyle that can reduce sleep apnea symptoms and ensure high-quality sleep. Eating healthy foods and being physically active are things you should take seriously if you suffer from the disorder.
More to read: How to know if you have sleep apnea